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and fifty horses, and let it feed one thousand fouts : now if, for the present, we allow only two acres of oats and two of hay for each of the horses, the amount will be fix hundred productive acres, which will be more than fufficient to feed the given number of inhabitants. But the fact is, that a horse, to be fully fed, requires five ton of hay, and from thirteen to three-and-twenty quarters of oats, per annum, according to his work. Some farmers allow the former, and the latter is given by the great carriers on the public roads, which would bring the computation to about eight acres each for horses used in husbandry; but then few farmers fuffer their horses to be highly fed. If we allow three acres of pasture for each ox ox cow, and consider, that in calculating the quantity of land sufficient to maintain a team of horses, the needful fallows must be carried to account, we shall not be at a loss for food, when we have substituted two oxen, and one family of five. persons, in the place of every horse.
• It must be confessed, that the tax on horses would be apparently a tax on husbandry, but in reality it would only be a tax on pride and prejudice. Neither would it be a tax for the purpose of revenue, which would certainly be most impolitic; but it would be a tax for the regulation of trade, beneficial to the public, and highly advantageous to the farmer. In China they use few cattle in the cultivation of the soil, and therefore, they are able to support a more abundant population. By reverting to the ancient pra&ice of ploughing with oxen instead of horses, we should enjoy the same advantage ; and till the population of our country had found its utmost limits, we thould rejoice in affiuence.
- With the same intentions, the legislature should facilitate the laying common fields in severalty, leaving the inclosure of these lands to every man's discretion. Wherever these al. lotments have been carried into execution, the value of land has been nearly doubled. Yet, independent of the exertion, the time, and the fatigue, requisite to procure a private act of parliament for this purpose, the expense of the act itself, and of the consequent inclosure, is more than many are willing to incur. That the improvers of land should be subject to this expence is not just, and that men should be obliged to inclose these lands is neither just nor wise; because hedge-rows confume much land, ftint the growth of corn, cause it to lodge, prevent its drying, and harbouş birds. If men are left at liberty, without restraint, when they find it for their interest to inclofe, they will inclose.'
That the enormous amount of the poor's rate, in some parts of the kingdom, is become oppreffive to many of the inha.
bitants, and that the dependence on an eleemofynary provision established by law, has likewise a bad effect on the morals of the lower clafs of the people, are facts which cannot be questioned.' But to attempt to remedy the evil by a sudden abolia tion of the accustomed method of providing for the poor, would be an experiment which might prove dangerous to humanity. Even under the present imperfect state of the poor faws, a due adminiftration of them, by men properly qualified for the task, would greatly palliate the bad consequences which are chiefly complained of; though a new act of the legislature is indispensably necessary towards rendering the legal systemi more beneficial in its operation, and more compatible with the good of the public.
Miscellanies, by Mr. Pratt, in Four Volumes. Small 8vo. 145.
Becket. IN N the two first volumes are Mr. Pratt's poétical labours,
and a comedy entitled ' the School for Vanity,' which was exhibited, one night only, at the Theatre-Royal, DruryLane. A gentleman's valet opens the piece, receiving letters from other servants; whom he thus addresses. : • Walk in, gentlemen--not yet day with us--when visible, thall deli: ver your tenders.---Any of you for refreshment?-Every thing in the next room, from chocolate and affes milk, to cocoa, curds, and hung beef.?. One would suppose that this mode of phraseology, in which the introductory words of every sentence are omitted, was intended to mark a peculiarity of character, like that of Briggs, in Cecilia. But no such thing. The master, at his first appearance, expresses himself in thë fame abrupt and unconnected manner. – Heigho ! fairly done up-Play'd at visiting all day yesterday—The misfortune to be let in by every body--Well-bred manslaughter committed upon me from morning till night.'-~This kind of language, used more or less by every character, is affected, ungraceful, and unnatural. But, without entering minutely into the merits or defe&ts of this performance, our opinion, in few words is, that it possesses some wit and more humour ; but the humour is coarfe, the characters hackneyed, and the plot improbable and improperly conducted. Its ill success, therefore, may undoubtedly be accounted for by other reasons than those to which the au. thor, in his preface; choofes to attribute it.
As a poet, Mr. Pratt certainly poffefses a fertility of imagination, and a facility of expressing his sentiments; but the effusions of his fancy seldom display any trength of genius; they are more glittering than solid ; more dazzling than bright, Vol. LXI. Jan. 1786.
His diction is generally Aorid, and sometimes finical. When he aims at fublimity, he too frequently represents an Ixion pursuing a Juno, and embracing a cloud. Instead of the efforts of a vigorous mind, clothed in nervous or dignified phrase, we commonly meet with a lamentable poverty of ideas, hall-hid beneath the veil of obscure metaphors, or embellished with the delufive luftre of glaring epithets, and encumbered with anmeaning ornaments. In proof of our affertion, we refer the reader to the Shadows of Shakspeare,' and Ode to the Sun." Mr. Pratt, however, though he has no pretenfions to be ranked in the first class of poets, is often entitled to our ap: probation. His style is commonly neat, smooth, and harmonious. If his defcriptions are fometimes too ornamental, they are at others pleasingly picturesque ; and he is not unfrequently natural, tender, and affecting. We chiefly allude to
Sympathy,' and 'the Tears of Genius.'--Some of the leffer poems deferve the fame commendation: others, particularly those taken from Emma Corbet. (a novel of our author's), which we suppose were intended to give a ftriking idea of the delicacy and tenderness of that lady and her lover, are mawkilh and nauseous to the last degree. Witness the following lines * fent with a present of some pens to Emma.'
• Go, ingenious artif, to her
All ambitious to be prest;
Agents of the gentle breast.
Is the hand which you’H embrace;
Whofe emotions you Thall trace.' The first line leads us to suppose that the pen-maker, not the pens, was sent to be prest' by the lady ; and the fecond stanza informs us, that they will embrace,' or hold her hand, not be held in it. But what is more extraordinary, and surely a very difficult office for pens and ink to execute, they are so delineate the whitenefs of affection.'
• Go, and take a charge upon you,
Paling tender, paling dear;
Gentle agents, be fincere.
Gods! how precious ye will prove!
When first floating on the river,
Lovely was your limpid way ;
Lovely was your wat'ry play:
Your sweet feathers now I send ;
As the service of a friend.
Your leall stroke shall reach my heart;
Shall be fix'd, what you impart:'
Left we should fatigue the reader too much, we will con-' fine our firft division of faults to the Shadows of Shakfpeare,'" a Monody occafioned by the death of Mr. Garrick,' for which the author obtained the myrtle wreath, at the villa of BathEaston. It certainly may be supposed to deserve peculiar attention, as • it was recited among the ceremonies of the vase, and met the approbation of numerous and brilliant auditors, on the mornings of the vale : as it has been introduced by ray of interlade on the Bath theatre; and an immortalizing Muse (mifs Seward), has celebrated our author, with other illafrious notaries of the vase, with whom to be associated is fame.'-These extracts from the Proemium were calculated to raise our expectations very high, and our disappointment of course was proportionably great. It begins thus : .
& Soon as the breath of Rumour blew
To boly Solitude I Aew,
There closeted with Thought,
The brain its thapeless travail wrought!' The idea of breath blowing a theme, and the brain clo. feted with thought producing a shapeless travail,' are cir
cumstances pafling strange indeed! The latter phřáfe, particularly, may be justly denominated a falfe conception.
• The season to the subject solemnly did suit:
Day's dazzling orb was wholly down':
It feem'd,'* How could it “ seem' fo; if the moon was up, as we are told in the preceding line ?
as Silence self repos'd, For with the Air, the Earth, and all her fons were mute.' That the Earth should be silent, though Silence herself had not been asleep, as we are told was the case in this extraordinary night, cannot be considered as very remarkable ; for we apprehend it always is só, except in the peculiar convulsions of nature. The greatest wonder is to find all mankind! mute"
1 in one line, and fome of them freed from their dumbness in the next.
• All but the wretched, who, like me, The gentle vigils kept of sympathy,
With cordial awe I hailed the shading night, And kis'd her duky robe which muffled thus the nigha". • Night,' in the last line, may be an error of the press, but if we read light instead of it, there is an error in the sense, as we are told just before that its ? obtrusions were closed.'
• Base busy world, begone, begone, I faid, s,
To mighty Garrick yield the serious mind, si
And turn the cautious key on human kind.' Here the poet seems to have forgot in his anger what he told us in sober sadness just before, that the world, with a few ex. ceptions, was extremely quiet. But to proceed; mankind being thus locked out of doors, the awful Now fuggests the following reflection...)
The deadah, me! what dead Here it began
The florid poet felt himself a man.' What a furprising discovery! what a pity that we cannot say in return, we have found the man a poet. We are soon after told, for we shall here cease following our author step by stepy that Garrick
v* often fore, and touch'd, and tund the heart
Pofsibly a comma should have been placed after clos'd,' and omited after • feem'di' but even then the sense would be contradictory.